I must confess that Gina Scruggs at one of Downtown Jasper's State Farm Insurance offices has it going on! Adding to Jasper Main Street's growing list of female entrepreneurs, Gina also just rolled onto the Jasper Main Street Board of Directors.
Gina has an eerily similar previous life to Mike. She retired from Jasper City Schools after teaching 25 years at both Maddox Middle and Walker High Schools: gifted education, science, English, social studies, and was also the librarian. Mike was not nearly that talented hanging out in the theatre for his 26 years plus some English classes. That's why she is Mike's boss and not the other way around.
If you haven't been to her newly enlarged and renovated office at 511 19th Street West, you have to go. The space is perfect for her office and for the needs of her office staff of Robert Sullivan and Sara Spears.
Not only is it more efficient, but it also has an upstairs apartment, a puzzle room, and a new mural painted on the outside west wall by none other than local artist, actor, and Gina's longtime friend, Eddie Brown. While the pandemic was shutting down most businesses and isolating us from our family and friends, Gina called Eddie and commissioned a classic State Farm mural. Being "quaranteamed" with Eddie was just what they both needed. It resulted in a beautiful mural, quality time with friends, and another win for Downtown Jasper.
When Gina acquired the State Farm position, the office was located on Highway 195. She was immediately interested in relocating to a more visible area that was easier to access. She and her husband looked at office properties on Airport Road, on the bypass, and in downtown. The office space downtown was overwhelmingly her first choice because of the ease of parking, the uniqueness of the area and of course because the sidewalks are pet friendly.
Gina and her husband Carey are active members of Downtown Jasper by creating and operating our bike share program, Slow Spokes. Because of the generosity of the Walker Area Community Foundation, Jasper Main Street owns 10 bikes that are loaned to riders at no expense. Slow Spokes started meeting every other Tuesday night, and now meets every Tuesday night most recently hosting 80 riders including the group Tour de'Ham from Downtown Birmingham. Gina and Carey have single-handedly brought a group to Jasper Main Street to ride and drop disposable income, and maybe some treats, in our district. Now that's a board member and hubby!
After the rides, some of the Downtown Jasper restaurants now have specials that they give to the Slow Spokers. Just ask to see if the restaurant is participating. Other times after the rides, Mason and Courtney at Twisted Barley Brewing Company (just across the street from Gina's office) offer pizza, soft drinks, beer, and wine. In addition, make sure to stop by Gina's office on July 15, 2020 for the Red Cross Blood Drive. Ever the believer in our community, Gina will be giving out restaurant cards to some of the blood donors.
Thanks for relocating to Downtown Jasper, and thanks for trying to keep Mike in line!